Every now and again someone sends along a “time waster” (simple addictive mind numbing game) that can quickly make a half hour of your life melt away. The coolest part of these types of games is really their simplicity in design but yet so many of them are challenging as hell. Most require quick thinking, quick reactions and a fair level of focus. The results are out for 2010 and the big winner is Filler. The first couple levels are easy but it quickly gets challenging. Fill up 2/3’s of the screen and avoid the bouncing balls. Come on, give it a try. Just make sure your schedule is clear for the next half hour!
If you are looking for something a bit more challenging that requires some real logic as the levels get harder, try Fantastic Contraption! This was my favourite time waster from 2009. I finished all the levels with some help from my kids!
I rarely ever read Time Magazine but one thing I stumbled upon that I did find interesting this year was their Top 50 Websites of 2010. I surfed through and found a few good ones. Like www.ted.com which is a huge database of guest speakers with amazing stories, theories, ideas and tonnes of other thought-provoking topics. It’s a great site to stop by when you feel the need to be inspired. As a real sports stat junkie, I also liked www.sports-reference.com. It has everything you ever wanted to know about your favourite Baseball, Football, Basketball, Hockey and Olympic stars and teams.
The one that really caught my eye and that I have been using ever since is www.mint.com. On their website they describe themselves as, “The best free way to manage your money” and from what I have seen over the short 3 months that I have been using it they are absolutely right. I have tried to use other offerings from Quicken and Microsoft Money in the past but the novelty always wore off because it was just too much work and my bank didn’t communicate with it well. I am not going to go into detail about all of it’s great, super easy to navigate, functions but what I will share is a quick story about something that just happened.
I got an email from Mint a few minutes ago saying that I had “Unusual spending on Food & Groceries”. It knows this because I have a couple of months of data for it to refer to and because I have set a budget for Groceries that it monitors as the month goes on. I went to the computer and pulled up my account. When I clicked on “Food & Groceries” it showed me all the recent transactions and one of them stood out to me. There was a large transaction at Costco yesterday that I had no recollection of. (I have taught mint to recognize Costco as “groceries” unless I tell it otherwise) It also detailed it so that I knew it was a purchase made at Costco online with my American Express card. I grabbed the phone and was about to call American Express but wanted to confirm with the wife. I asked her about it while she was half asleep and she told me that she did a purchase for her work and we were being reimbursed. Whew! That was a close one. Now this was just a false alarm but thanks to mint.com’s notifications I was able to do a quick investigation.
If you are not currently using something to manage your money, I highly recommend giving it a try! Watch the video below to learn more.